tv Piers Morgan Live CNN November 9, 2013 12:00am-1:01am PST
>> know you warren but maybe not familiar with howard or hwb. give me an assessment how it start id the. >> it started slow. for the first two or three years we were thinking about putting him out for adoption. [ laughter ] >> but he has developed into a terrific human being and i'm proud of him and love backing
him and his charitable work, and he's done the same with his son. i feel very good about the children. >> there is a reason that i feel extremely grateful to your son, and i'm going to play you a clip which will explain why this is from the last time i interviewed howard. >> lovely to see you. >> nice to see you. >> i'll get you back one day with your father and maybe your son as well. the three generations of buffets. >> i would love. >> thank you. >> you see, that moment was sealed with the famous buffet hand shake and i knew then i had a deal because howard, the buffet handshake means a lot, right? >> well, what i've learned growing up in our family is that, you know, integrity is everything, and, you know, everybody makes mistakes but i believe as my dad says, you stick with people, you give people a second chance, and that's the values that we've had in our family, and -- >> i gave him more than a second
chance. [ laughter ] >> i think i teed him up for that one. >> fascinating deals you did with your son when he was young. i have three sons. i like the way you think about these things, warren. on the handshake business, how many men in the world, or women, people you do business with, do you trust personally for a big deal on the strength of a handshake percentage-wise. >> not that high a percentage but the ones i made deals with, i decided their handshake is good. we do not have contracts with -- we have 70 some companies and some contracts out there. you can't make a good deal with a bad guy. >> regardless -- >> regardless of any piece of paper. they win. they sue you and do all kinds of things. >> do you still prefer to do business with a handshake? >> yeah, i prefer to do business with people i like. i see no reason to do business
that cause my stomach to turn. it's like marrying for money. it's dumb and i think it's really dumb if you're already rich, right? [ laughter ] >> let me ask you h.w. b., what is the single best lesson you've learned? >> my father and grandma father are the most amazing role models anyone could imagine. i've watched my grandfather build what has been one of the greatest fortunes in the world and turned it into history's greatest gifts and empowering my father to go out and change the world and take that opportunity -- >> he's exaggerating -- >> no -- >> don't worry, you're still in the will. >> that's what 40 chances are about, what howard, my dad has been able to do. >> it's a great line you use, warren, you always wanted to give your kids enough money they could do whatever they want to do in life but not enough that they would do nothing. >> they can do anything but not enough to do nothing. >> we got plenty of tweets.
one says what's the most important advice that you've had about investing that you would give to others? >> to look at stocks like a business rather than things that bob up and down. you value the business and look at the stock. sometimes people think the stock will go to 100 or go up next week. in the end you're buying part of the business and you should never lose sight of that. >> do you have to personally enjoy the stock that you buy? >> i enjoy the -- i enjoy analyzing stocks, but one thing to remember about stocks is you have all these feelings about them. they don't care about you. you bought the stock at 20 and now it's 18, you know, and you hate it. stock doesn't know. it doesn't know what you paid. it has no feelings about you at all. >> the reason i asked you, when you were young you were selling
coca-cola and become a stockholder and when we asked the family what the rider would be for the dressing room requirements, anything coca-cola related. so i thought this man actually drinks this stuff. >> five a day. >> no, here is the other thing i want to do. i'm a blackberry relics. i hang onto the blackberry. it turns out hwb has two. >> yes. >> howard didn't bring a cell phone. >> warren has something i haven't seen since grandfather clock. what is this? >> alexander the great gave me. he's getting a new one. >> how long have you had that one? >> i don't throw anything away until i've had it 20 or 25 years. >> i literally haven't seen one of those since star track came out. >> it's impressive. i can dial people on this. i can't do these other things where it talks about text. >> do you use e-mail? >> i do it through my assistant. i sent one e-mail in my life. >> who to? >> to jeff rakes at microsoft and it ended up in court in
minneapolis, so -- [ laughter ] >> so i'm one for one. >> and you still have your old car, is that right? >> well, it's not so old, about six years. >> your not into flash things, are you, really? >> no, i have everything i want. i'm happy. >> let's turn to your son because when i interviewed him nine months ago, we got into some of the deals you did together as father and son which i found absolutely gripping -- >> they are not that gripping. >> they are. they are. howard, you turned your backyard into a little farm and you wanted to do a deal with your dad about the rental. explain to me what the deal was. >> actually, that was on 400 acres that hwb farms now and the deal was that the rent amount would be based on my weight.
>> this was not a brilliant moment in paradise. >> what were you thinking? it was literally paid if you put on weight, the rent went up and if you reduced your weight, the rent went down. >> i started feeding him candy and pie and unfortunately, i kept paying the higher rate. >> it didn't work? >> not really. >> there was an incentive scheme on a car you wanted as a gift. you wanted the money for it. tell me about that because it did work. >> i knew when i graduated from high school i really wanted a car. i went to my dad. this was at the beginning of high school. i said for the next three years if i don't get a birthday present or christmas present, can i get a car? he said he would give me $5,000.
back then that was a lot of money. >> still is. [ laughter ] >> see the problem i deal with. it's a big problem. >> look after the pennies, the cows look after themselves. >> and so when i graduated i had $5,000 and i had a summer job so i earned another $2300 and i bought a new car with it. i thought it was a good deal. >> warren, you stuck rigidly with the terms of the deal. >> yeah. >> two incentives, one worked one didn't. do you regret the weight incentive you laid down? >> i would say it was dumb. we're still talking about it today. >> howard, do you lay it down on hwb? does he have the same criteria? >> i don't think i've ever done that. sometimes i would tell him he's going on a trip to some country he didn't want to go to. i figured that was educational. i don't think i've ever done that. >> warren, all three of your children went to public school. >> that's true. >> all three of them dropped out of college. >> right. >> you didn't seem too phased, why.
>> if they combine their credits, we can get one degree. >> they know we'll argue who gets it. >> i didn't want to go to college myself. my dad talked me into it. i think my kids got a wonderful education in public school. they went to the same school that their grandfather did, their mother, it's a school of inner city between 20 and 25% black for 75 years. they saw the real world, and they saw what america is all about. i think it's a great education. >> what were the key messages that you wanted to send to your children, which i guess you've passed down, as well, to deal with the fact that there was enormous wealth in the family almost from when they were born? >> they never felt it was going to be pasted on to create a dynasty. i always felt we would love wonderful and the rest would go back to society and that's been the plan since my 20s. >> he hid it for a long time. he didn't know it. laugh will have. >> was he -- i don't want to use the word mean but was he a little tight fisted, howard, from the way you painted the picture? >> no, you painted it that way. >> dang it, you got me. >> were you taught to be too material list tick?
>> that's an observation. one of the biggest thinks you learn is what you observe. i had two incredible parents. my mom was the host giving person in the world. what i got from my dad was something very unique, i use eavesdrop on his business calls and who was running for mayor -- >> that must have been fascinating. you could only hear one side of the call. >> you can figure out what is going on. >> i prefer him to hear one side. >> is it true you like to do business on the phone? >> sure, sure. >> endless phone call, power broking? >> yeah, and they don't take long. we made the decision to buy the burlington northern santa fe railroad. i was down there on a thursday and i said to a few people can i offer them a few hundred dollars a share? >> how much did you pay?
>> 34 billion. >> and he's worried about $5,000. >> watch the pennies. >> that is fascinating. you must have unbelievable self-belief to make that deal in hours. >> if i'm operating in my circle of competence. there is things i don't know how to do but i do feel i know a certain area and that was not a problem making that decision. >> do you ever make big mistakes? >> sure, sure. >> what's the biggest? what's the one you look back and say i shouldn't have done that. >> i bought a company in the '90s called dexter shoe. i gave 400 million worth of stock probably worth 4 billion. every time brooke shire goes up it costs me more.
i've made lots of dumb decisions. that's part of the game. >> i would love to make dumb decisions that went wrong like that. when we come back we'll talk about the woman you mentioned, your mother, your wife. the impact. many say the brains behind the power. would you agree with that, warren? >> i would agree. >> we'll discuss that after the break. i started part-time, now i'm a manager.n. my employer matches my charitable giving. really. i get bonuses even working part-time. where i work, over 400 people are promoted every day. healthcare starting under $40 a month. i got education benefits. i work at walmart. i'm a pharmacist. sales associate. i manage produce. i work in logistics. there's more to walmart than you think. vo: opportunity. that's the real walmart.
i always thought i would marry a minister or a doctor or somebody out doing a valuable service to human beings, and the fact i married somebody who makes just piles of money is really different than what i ever thought, but i know what he is, and he is -- there is no finer human being than who he is. so i overlooked the money. [ laughter ] >> warren buffet's first wife susan back in 2003, her first and only interview. an inspiration for the entire family. i have three of them with we, warren buffet and his son and grandson.
howard, you said earlier your mother was an extraordinary figure in all your lives. tell me why. >> she did something you heard my dad saying, she provided unconditional love to all three of us. she add incredible patience with me, which was a requirement, i think, to keep me in line and out of trouble and she cared about everybody. i mean, there was nobody that would meet her that didn't connect with her and feel a passion and a warmth from her and she really taught us how to care about other people and how important it is to threat every human being equally. >> my favorite story in the book, you go around the world doing extraordinary work with the foundation, a lot of it financed by your dad -- >> all of it. >> and it's amazing work that you do and we'll come to this. my favorite story is the time that your mother very unusually for her decided had enough of you. locks you away in your bedroom. most kids in that position, and
i've been in that position you sit there sulking and eventually allowed back into the community. not you, howard, what did you do? >> i had a row of windows in my room and, you know, i opened a window open. we had a greenhouse so i had to be careful climbing out because i didn't want to go through the glass. i got down and we had a charge account at the local hardware store and i went there and convinced the guy to let me charge a hash block and a tool. i got everything i needed. i crawled back in and i locked her out. [ laughter ] >> you changed the lock on your bedroom door so she couldn't get back in. >> i put a hasp lock. >> he was the hanabil lector. >> how did your mother react? >> she probably got a kick out of it. she was a little irritated when she couldn't get back in. >> what do you make of a son
with such devilish mastermind capabilities? >> it was a worry for awhile. as i mentioned in the book, we had howie, who was the second child quite soon after the first child but after we had him we decided to call a halt. i should mention that interview incidentally, my wife had just had oral cancer and it impeded her speech but -- >> tell me about susan. because she was obviously this huge great love of your life, and an amazing mother and wife. tell me about that. >> i was a mess when she met me, and matter of fact, in another part of that interview, she said what was her first impression of me and she said what a jerk. fortunately, she looked at me as a challenge, maybe preparing her for howie and put me together. it was -- it changed my life. >> when you say put you together, in what way for the good?
how did you change? >> i slowly grew up, and i wouldn't have otherwise. i was -- i just -- i wasn't feeling good about the world or myself, and she just stood there with a little watering can and just sprinkled and planted the plower and bloom. >> many great businessmen are incapable of real love or even real emotion sometimes. they get so absorbed in business. many people who don't know, i guess, may assume you're one of those characters but from what the family told me and what i read in a great buy ogden fee -- >> it's wonderful to love and wonderful to be loved. >> let's talk to you hwb about this. you had these extra ordinary figures in your life, extraordinary father here, grandfather, grandmother, others. tell me what it is like growing
up in this kind of family. >> to be frank, it's been normal in the sense that we grew up in a normal house. we grew up with normal cars and we grew up being told that there was nothing different about us than anybody around us. so that i think really help grounded us and who we've all become as part of this family. but having these values, that have been so clearly -- i've seen at least stepping back passed down from my grandfather tore my father in the way they do their work in their own unique way is for me to observe and sit back and draw from as much as possible in watching the way they have been successful. >> warren, what are the key values you would like to see other people recognize in your children, your grand children, family, extended family. >> i want them to be good citizens, parents and the world to be better off because they were there. >> what else? i know you think a great rule in vesting is character, important, not getting into debt,
character, integrity, what is your definition? >> i'm not sure i can get a great one. i know it when i see it and i know when it exists around me, and i feel good about all three of my children. it wasn't always that way. [ laughter ] >> it's been work in progress. >> there are a few years there -- but they felt the same way about me, i'm sure. >> the second most important piece of advice i've been given is surround you self-with people that have greater integrity than you have -- >> greater intelligence. >> greater intelligence, of course. that's easy. >> exactly. >> has it been hard, howard, growing up with that sir name? >> well, i'll tell you this,
there is a lot more benefits to it than -- you know, i mean, and so -- you know, you get frustrated. i'll tell you, when you're younger growing up with it it was frustrating. today it is a huge advantage. you have to make sure you're responsible about it. i never felt much different as howie said. growing up in the house we grew up and neighborhood we grew up in, i didn't feel any different than i think anybody else felt. >> we've been in the same house now for 55 years. >> the famous house. >> absolutely. we've got terrific neighbors, you know, nancy brings over cherry pies. my wife loves -- >> do you ever go buy a liter of milk or something? >> i go to the supermarket. i enjoy looking around. >> before we finish this interview, we've got about half an hour left, i'll get you to play a bit of frank sinatra and show the world your wallet. [ laughter ] >> this is what your son tells me, he says it's bare and has cobwebs, right?
he compared his son to hannibal lecter. >> he doesn't know me. >> tell me about this book "40 chances." why the title? >> it came from my career in farming. back in 2001 i went to what they call planters school, which doesn't sound exciting and it was in the winter time and a lot of farmers gather and there was a speaker there who said we're thinking about things wrong and we think of, you know, one season blends into the other and he said by the time your dad let's you climb on the tractor and you climb off you have 40 years to make a difference and do what you do and grow the best crop you can grow. it made me think about a few
things differently in my farming but it made me think about this is really a mind set in life, because you have maybe 40 prime years that you can -- he might have 80, but, you know it's really a mind set. i mean, you got to bring urgency to what you do, if you want to change something. you have to figure out how to do things at scale. in our case we have to take risk because we have to learn what doesn't work. >> the main theme is finding hope in a hungry world, feeding those who can't afford to feed themselves in some of the most difficult places on earth. one of the quandaries that you face and you're very open about this is sometimes you can pump money into these areas and you never see it again. it gets corrupted and wasted. what have you learned about that battle? how do you deal with that? >> there is a lot of great
organizations out there. so, you know, i have confidence in where most of the money goes. what happens is it doesn't get you the results you want, and so, you know, one of the things i learned in 2005, i was in a village in angola and i had this woman try to give me her child and i had to refuse to take the child. that was kind of a pivotal moment for me because i went back and figured out, people with me helped me figure out what's it take to get the logistics, the medical people there, all the pieces, $4.5 million and might get them through the next season. you can't takes tens of thousands of villages and save it project by project. you have to do it at scale and tackle the fundamental problems and you have to absolutely engage in advocacy. >> you pump more and more money into howard's foundation. $3 billion i think. you like the way how he's going
about tackling this problem. how do you make of what he's achieved? >> he's operating on the premise and my other children that all lives have equal value, and from that, he's taken this particular passion at his area of expertise, farming and looked around the world and seen that it can be done so much better by people and not by telling them to do it like us, but working with the conditions that they have and, you know, it will make a difference. >> proud of him? >> very proud of him. >> let's take a break. let's come back and talk more buffet. i want investment advice. lots of tweets saying come on warren, give us some tips. >> the tip is to read "40 chances". >> of course. >> [ laughter ] >> yeah, there is three or four stock tips at the back.
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>> how about 27 and when i make long distance calls, is it monitored or on the honor system? >> warren buffet on nbc's "the office." back now with the three generations of buffet the, warren, howard g. do you enjoy being an actor? >> the worst thing about being mildly famous, the worse you are, the better people like it. >> what is the thing most people see you in the street recognize you and ask you? >> they come up and say are you really -- and then i say no, i'm really much better looking than he is. [ laughter ] >> see, i would ask you whether you carry a wallet and what is inside it. if i was to ask you that now, what would the answer be? >> let's take a look. >> is this the first on television history. >> i had this wallet -- >> how long have you had it, first? >> probably about 20 years probably.
>> what do you have in it. >> my american express card from 1964. >> that's the original green amex card. >> that's it. >> that's the one you've had the whole time? >> yeah, well it goes with my cell phone. >> what other cards do you have? >> a variety of cards and a picture of the family. >> how much cash? >> more than usual. >> that's quite a wad, actually. >> there is some 100s in here. >> yeah. >> to see how fast he put that back -- >> they will stay in there. >> i have literally seen gray hounds move slower than that. it's gone back in. of all the places you've been, of all the issues you dealt with, what has been the most powerful to you? >> the resiliency of people. i don't know if you've seen the money -- movie blood money, victims that survived attacks in sierra leon and offered a long sleeve short sleeve and they chop their arms.
watching them carry water back to the village. there is a child soldier who talked about how they slit his chest open and put cocaine in him and made him drag an ak-47 because he was too young to carry it at six. all these people we have the opportunity to meet in these difficult circumstances, the resiliency and so many of them don't give up hope. >> it's packed full of stories and beautifully written and i think people will really enjoy it. warren, let me turn to the shutdown, it will be on air in cnn in three years. washington, debt ceilings, shut downs, how do we bring an end to it and move forward for the benefit of the american economy and people? >> they should declare the debt limit as a weapon of mass destruction which can't be used. it is silly to have a country that has 237 years building up
its reputation and then have people threaten to tear it down because they are not getting some other matter. it just so disproportionate to other issues. the first thing to do is take it off the table. what i really hope is that they sit down and work out something probably better in private and work out something that involves some real give on both sides and then present it for an up or down vote and i think the american public has been enough kind of irritated and discussed with what happened to put a lot of pressure on something sensible to get through. >> when you look at america's
place in world, you say don't bet against america. i would go with that. amazing country and super power but there are rivals to the super powers known to be china. what should america look to be? it used to be a great manufacturing power house. what is the future for america incorporated do you think? >> terrific, terrific. this country has worked for 237 years every generation has lived better than the one before it. we've gone from civil wars, great world wars, depressions and everything else and america always moves ahead. we have not exhausted the potential or come close in our system. so our best days lie ahead. i feel terrific for my son and grandson. >> a lot of people tweeted me saying i've got $1,000 to spend, what should i invest in? warren is the guy to ask. >> well, you've asked. you got your job. >> that's why he's wort -- how
much are you worth, warren buffet? do you know how much you're worth? >> you can multiply but it's all going to -- i don't need it. i've got everything i need. it can do a lot for other people. it does noting for me. >> the website is "40chances.com" and you can spend money for the foundation. >> and we have people get involved. if they read the book and inspired about anything we talk about, you can go there and we have organizations and ideas. so they can actually go there, too. >> brilliant. listen, we'll come to the magnificent moment in music history. have you ever met frank sinatra before he died? >> no. >> you're a fan? >> i'm a fan. >> and you're a fan of ukulele. he's not played this instrument before. we purchased this in new york city today but believe it's a good one.
he's had practice and ready to go. this is warren buffet singing frank sinatra's my way. >> joined by piers morgan. >> ♪ now the end is near and so i face the final curtain ♪ ♪ my friends all say it clear, something or else, of which i'm uncertain ♪ ♪ i've lived the life of spoil and traveled each and every highway and more ♪ ♪ much more than this i did it my way ♪ >> fabulous. that was absolutely fabulous. >> raw talent. >> we have 50 seconds left. i have tweets, many saying these buffet boys are a lot of fun, aren't they? >> we have a lot of fun. >> you don't do this kind of interview. how have you enjoy the last hour? >> i've enjoyed it a lot. i think maybe we can show up at the grammys, the two of us.
>> how would you like to be remembered? >> a teacher. a teacher. yeah, well actually i would like to be remembered as the oldest man that ever lived. i'm not sure if that's in the cards. >> if there is a moment i can relive in your life, what would that be? >> a moment with my dad. >> just to see him again? >> absolutely. >> warren and howard, hwb, i'm sorry, thank you so much. invited me to become part of "40 chances." love the book, love the interview. here it is. howard g buffet. it's packed with fun and great advice as you expect, anything with the word buffet associated with it. >> and don't forget the stock tips at the end. >> it will be updated in each edition. >> i want to thank you. you were good to your word, you brought back your old man and
only william shatner known for his roles. his new album "ponder the mystery" is out and joins me. william shatner, how are you? >> great. >> you never do things usual. you're unconventional? >> i don't try to but sames to come out that way. >> you look ridiculously well. >> i am. >> i'm going to ask you how old you are because viewers you don't know will be stunned. >> i'm 43. [ laughter ] >> and not looking well. i've been ill. i've been promoting this album. i'm tired. how old are you? >> 82. >> 8 two years old. >> yes. >> you've gone from incredible to fantastic. >> not bad.
i'd take either. >> what is the secret to eternal youth william shatner? i'm serious -- >> the look of being healthy -- >> yeah. >> the luck of good health. the luck of being invigorated by life because i have health and that is both a gift. it's also work. i mean, stay healthy, eat well, exercise, all the good things we know. all the varieties. >> when you look at the state of washington right now. >> that will make you ill right there. >> exactly. what do you make of it all? you've been through -- you're canadian, you've been through 11 american presidencies, why have you never become an american citizen? >> all those lines, i swear -- i had to memorize that stuff. >> no, the reason. >> i'm sort of the proud of the idea that i'm canadian. >> right. >> and canada this wonderful country to the north,
we're told by experts so we need to wait and see. if in time that we see that the costs are increasing we have to do something about it. but if obama is correct and that health program lessens the cost of this extraordinary accounting of medical costs, then we're home free. >> how would captain james t. kirk run america right now if he was president? >> fire them all and have a new election. given what the american people and polls are saying, there would be a really rational decision to have elections.
>> this whole album cover is fantastically mysterious and weird and strange. >> it's not weird or strange. the music is by billy sherwood who is a great musician. he's written tremendous music. there's great musicians on the album. >> let's take a look at some of this. >> the confusion of faith and the logic of clarity. the tranquility of summer and winter's ferocity. the harshness of reality and the luxury of fantasy. the details of the devil and angelic purity. the miracle of passion and the hate of depravity. >> to ponder the mystery in this song, ponder the mystery of the variations in man's behavior.
a child's love, a man's cruelty. how do they exist together? and i paint in sentences some of the mystery of how do these things exist together. >> what's the simple answer? >> we are composed of all of it. and we have to maintain control of those impulses that are negative. >> do you ever lose your temper? do you ever get highly emotional? >> all the time. >> tell me more. >> about the album? >> yes. >> i'm on a journey. the mysterious journey. >> do you know where you're going? >> no. the best journeys are when you don't know where you're going and you make the discovery as you go along from point to point. for example, there's this whole mysterious world of music. >> what do you feel when you're doing it, when you're making this music? >> well, i felt transported by writing the lyrics.
and then when billy sherwood woved music around my words and then we have great musicians come in and play their licks, it's stupefying. the music as mysterious as the creative urge, mysterious as why people are acting -- playing poker with the country, what is the impulse. we have to think that most of them are -- the impulse is good. but it's fantastical behavior. >> william shatner, fabulous to talk to you. it's called "ponder the mystery". >> i want you to listen to the album and hear great music. >> i shall do so. you signed it for me. >> we'll be right back.